Family-focused ministry seems to be the new fad. I hope it’s not the latest fad, but instead a refocused approach to a more effective and more Biblical way of doing ministry. If you’ve been thinking about what this could look like or how to get it started, perhaps these five tips could help get you started.
- Spend as much time with your parents as you do with your kids. Get to know them as people. Who are they? What stressors are in their life? What do they dream about for their kids? Ask them how you can bless them and their marriage. What do they do for fun? These aren’t questions you can just walk up and ask. As ministers we have to earn the right to know this information. Make the investment. Pay the price. Then you can reap the dividends of being able to minister effectively.
- Pray for the parents in your church. Call them out by name to God. And let them know that you are praying for them. Send them a card or even a FB message. Just so they know that they, their marriage and their kids are important to you.
- Find ways to connect the kids to older, mature Christians. Every (honest) parent will admit that they need all they help they can get in raising their kids. And I’m pretty sure that God has spoken on community and older Christians discipling younger ones. We’re all familiar with the “One Another” passages. Older folks have the resources and desire to invest in the teens and kids of your church. Help them.
- Provide your parents with opportunities to serve together. Plan service projects that Mom, Dad and the kids can do together. This is fairly easy. It just takes a little planning. It’s always easier to just take the kids and do it yourself. Resist that temptation. Take the time and energy to involve the entire family.
- Disciple your Dads to become better disciplers of their kids. Most Dads want to have an active role in their faith formation of their kids, they just need a little more help than the Mom’s. Sometimes it just comes in the form of giving them confidence. Sometimes they need some more specific equipping from older men who have been down that road. It just may be that they need to know they are not the only one’s who feel like they’re struggling. Find out where your Dads are and connect them to the resources they need.
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